Backing a game on Kickstarter is fraught with risk. You never know what could happen when investing money into a project during its early stages. Sometimes you end up with a masterpiece like Shovel Knight. Other times you get disasters like Mighty No. 9. Whatever the case, there’s always this sense of unpredictability when it comes to Kickstarter projects. And I’m sure that the project we’re talking about today is no exception. Despite knowing the chances of failure, I couldn’t help but talk about how amazing this game looks.
Chained is a SNES-style JRPG that draws clear influences from classic games. The sole developer is Matthias Linda while Eddie Marianukroh will be responsible for the soundtrack. The first thing you’ll notice about this game is how gorgeous the art style is. It takes the 16-bit style as a base and ushers it into the modern world. This is what I always imagined a true successor to Chrono Trigger would look like.
There’s no playable demo since the game is still very early in development. However, the project outline has a lot of information and is very well written. You should take a look for yourself here, but I’ll also summarise some of the points I found most appealing.
First of all, this is going to be a traditional turn-based game. From the looks of it, the system seems to be based on that of Final Fantasy X. There’s a visible turn order which you can, , alter with abilities. It’s one of my favourite combat systems and opens up many opportunities for tactical gameplay. As long as there are enough tools.
On that point, I’m happy that Chained Echoes isn’t using an Active-Time system. These are turn-based games where time doesn’t stop flowing during combat. In other words, it’s the game’s where you wait for a bar to fill up before attacking. While this system speeds up the pace, it defeats the purpose of playing a turn-based game. If you want a faster experience, then your best choice is to stick with an action game. Not some half-baked crossover between two vastly different styles of gameplay.
Another exciting feature is the lack of random encounters. All of the enemies are on-screen and there are smooth transitions into a combat scenario. Now, the prospect of no annoying encounters that break the flow of gameplay is great. However, that’s not the only reason for my excitement.
Chained Echoes will have an interactive environment during battles. One of the examples shown in the Kickstarter page involved dropping a chandelier on a group of enemies. I can’t wait to see what other creative interactions the developers come up with. Once again, this is reminiscent of Final Fantasy X, where you could use surrounding objects to your advantage. In that game, the usage was very limited and only affected boss fights. My hope is that Chained Echoes is able to make the environment a major part of battles.
There’s one more thing I feel is worth mentioning. It’s the sheer scope and ambition of Chained Echoes. Some may look at it as trying to do too much with limited resources. The way I see it, it’s a drive to create something that’s memorable and fun to play. Alongside the traditional methods of travel (walking), Chained Echoes will give you Xenogears-like mechs.
Having mechs will add a whole new layer of exploration to the game. On top of that, you’ll also be able to use airships to fly around the world. Although it appears the airships will also play a role in combat, which is quite different from most other RPGs. From what I’ve read, the mechs and airships are highly customisable. An exciting prospect as I usually spend several hours tinkering around with this sort of stuff.
only sad part is how far away Chained Echoes is. It’s still a game in its early stages and there could be even more surprises to come. I want to wish Matthias and Eddie the best of luck in their project. I’m impressed by the organisation and clarity of their Kickstarter page. It speaks volumes of their determination. Here is a link to their Kickstarter if you’d like to check out Chained Echoes for yourself.